Elon Musk changes the CBC’s Twitter account label to “69 percent government-funded media”

The CBC has "paused" all activity on Twitter

Twitter CBC "69 percent government-funded label"

After labelling the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation’s (CBC) Twitter account as “government-funded media,” Elon Musk has changed the media organization’s designation to state that it’s “69 percent government-funded media.”

According to Musk, the CBC sent a formal letter to Twitter clarifying that it’s “less than 70% government-funded.” As has been the case since the multi-billionaire acquired the social media platform, following a suggestion from a Twitter user, Musk jumped at the opportunity to make an off-colour, internet culture-influenced joke at the expense of a labelling system that promotes legitimate media transparency.

Twitter launched its new media organization labelling system last week. The CBC was initially labelled as “state-affiliated media,” alongside other publically funded U.S.-based media like NPR and PBS. The U.K.’s BBC also received a label that states it’s “publicly-funded media,” a term that accurately describes the CBC, its operations and the service it provides Canadians.

It’s unclear why Twitter labelled the BBC as publicly-funded media but the CBC as “state-affiliated media” and then “government-funded media,” designations that insinuate a level of government control over the content the broadcaster produces. Affiliated and related accounts, including Radio-Canada, CBC/Radio-Canada CBC News Alerts and more, have not received the “government-funded media” label.

Twitter’s recently published rules and policies regarding government media labels state that for a media organization to receive the “government-funded media” designation, it “may have varying degrees of government involvement over editorial content.” which is not the case with CBC due to its strict editorial independence protected via the Broadcasting Act.

In a letter the CBC published last week, the media organization stated that it is not a secret it receives public funding. The letter came in response to Federal Conservative leader Pierre Poilievre’s request to label the CBC’s Twitter account with a “government-funded media” tag. In 2021 and 2022, the CBC received more than $1.2 billion in government funding. The media organization also funds its operations through advertising.

CBC/Radio-Canada is publicly funded through a parliamentary appropriation that is voted upon by all Members of Parliament,” the CBC recently tweeted. “Its editorial independence is protected in law in the Broadcasting Act.”

The CBC recently stated on Twitter that it’s “pausing” all activity on the social media platform, noting that its “journalism is impartial and independent.”

Image credit: @CBC (screenshot)

Source: @elonmusk